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Titanese Peoples

Also Known As

Titan Apes, Ghughur, Xk'ynnyam

Type of Group

Species

Role in Story

Supporting Characters

Book

The Ionans (working title) by E.E. Buchanan

The terms Titanese Peoples, or, to use their own language, Ghughur (g'hoo-G'HOO-er, "The Garden People") is collectively used for the three species of the genus Lanoviumpithicus, ("woolly sheep ape", though they actually are not apes), all underground-dwelling vegetarian sentient ape-like ruminants that inhabit Saturn's moon Titan. They differ in physical appearance and size, slightly, but the lifestyle/culture, behavior, psychology, and the rest are extremely similar. They are shrewd and cunning, but extremely peaceful and for the most part friendly, and dislike violent death of any sort. They are most famous for inviting the entire population of omnivorous Greater Ionans (Iogigantor sensibilus, of the order Monotremata) to live on Titan with them after lengthy negotiations. These Ionans refer to them as Xk'ynnyam, "The people who rescue" in their language, as a result. The Titanese do not contact Earth save occasionally in company with an Ionan friend or two, so most of what is known is information the Ionans have passed on.

Species Names and DescriptionsEdit

Specifically what earth animal the Titanese are most closely related to is still up for debate. As they possess herbvorous teeth, and are technically ruminants that can chew cud if there's nothing else to eat (though they have chambered stomachs that can digest most raw plant material without cud chewing being necessary), the eyes, senses, and limbs are more simian. Because of this, many earth people tend to refer to them as Titan Apes, incorrectly as there is nothing apelike in their actual makeup. Given their internal makeup, eye placement, their teeth arrangement and jumping ability, it is far more likely they are related more closely to Rabbits, Hares, and Pikas, which has lead many scientists to classify them in the order Lagomorpha with them. However, several think they should be put in their own order altogether and refer to them as order Incognilana - "Unknown woolly thing". More research is pending.

The three species of Titanese are differentiated by size, tail length,eye color, and coat color. They do not often cross-marry, despite the fact all inhabit the same range. However, all three species in this genus are capable of reproducing with one another, and those who exhibit traits of being mixed between two kinds are typically referred to as Lanaoviumpithicus ibrida. All three species have small but bulky-looking, broad-chested bodies with little visible neck and large heads. The heads are almost simian, resembling an orangutan, from the top of the head down to the nose bridge and ears, though the eyes are placed very far apart, almost but not quite on the sides of the head. The elongated muzzle and jaw are clearly that of a herbivore, like a sheep, with large slit-shaped nostrils, thick tongues and grinding molars and thick incisors rather like a cow or horse, or even a rabbit. The limbs are extremely long compared to the body, and the arms possess fully functional shoulders, and elbows. The arms alone are more than twice the length of the torso, the back limbs slightly shorter. The fingers and toes are opposable and grasping, with elongated, thick, hard nails like gigantic mole claws, designed for digging in hard dirt. The hips and upper hind leg muscles are thicker than the forelimbs and very strong, giving the Titanese very impressive jumping abilities. Their tails are short and hooked like a baboon. They usually are quadripedal when not carrying something, but when carrying something or working they walk with two limbs but still with the body hunched forward, as the way the head is attached at a forward angle like a dog or herbivore makes standing upright not very practical, or comfortable. All are nearly covered in multi-layered curly hair, somewhat coarse but not unpleasant to touch and almost thicker than the thickest wool. This 'wool' is much shorter and softer on the face, neck, tail, forearms, and lower legs. All wear shirts, pants, and/or skirts made of plant material cloths, and headdresses and jewelry of either flowers and leaves, or gems and rocks from the caves. The differences between the three species are as follows:

L. rigaEdit

The most numerous species and the smallest species, average height 45-52 in(114-132 cm) at the shoulder and average weight 80 lb (36 kg). They have the longest tail, though still proportionally short compared to the body, of any species. The eyes are grey to greyish white, and the fur is crystal white with stripes of grey or silver.

L. cyanus Edit

The largest species, average height 65-72 in(165-183 cm) at the shoulder and average weight 120 lbs (54 kg). They have the proportionally longest limbs of any species, the arms in particular well more than twice the length of the torso. The fur is shades of extremely pale blue, with cream or white patches. The eyes are brilliant blue.

L. arquusEdit

The species with the shortest tail - some individuals look tailless. Average height 50-55 in(127-140 cm), and average weight 100 lb. (45 kg). The fur varies between individuals but is solid colored and in shades of yellows, tans, or creams, with no blotches or stripes. Eyes are pale tan to dark brown.

LifestyleEdit

The Titanese peoples live exclusively underground, as life on the surface of Titan is too cold even for their thick fur to survive for too long. Because Titan is covered with a thick layer of ice, the tunnels that riddle the dirt and rock core of the moon often go into said ice, which usually forms the ceilings of their halls and gardens. The glow from Saturn coming through said dirty ice, combined with glowing crystals that produce light in the caves, is their bright yellow-white daylight. Sometimes the cavern ceilings are so high up, the atmoshphere makes a 'sky' haze that prevents seeing the actual ceiling. Breathing holes are dug through the ice to the surface in literally tens of thousands of places, and maintained strenuously. Homes are built of rock, basically small huts under the ice ceiling, or occasionally large buildings with many homes/apartments. The huts form cities, and for a small moon, cities are fairly large. There are about 5,500-8,000 Titanese in each city, and about 700,000 Titanese on Titan, total. The larger communal buildings and apartment buildings resemble roughly pyramidal, multi story heaps of rock externally but are quite comfortable and furnished inside. They have indoor plumbing and washing and cooking devices as well in buildings. Some homes are built directly in the cave walls, though this is less common since you can only have windows on one side and Titanese are not over-fond of indoor fires, though they light outdoor ones frequently. They have technology of a sort and can send radio transmissions to nearby moons, but they are very primitive in most ways, and the Ionans are teaching them how to use other technologies and encouraging them to make their own. Electricity is something they have - mostly geothermal powered or water powered - but not in any huge supply and not often in houses beyond the cooking devices.

GardeningEdit

A bewildering variety of plant life grows in the tunnels, further cultivated by the Titanese into lush orchards and gardens. The geothermal heat at the planet's core and the light of the sun reflecting off of Saturn as well as the heat and light of the cave crystals is what keeps the plants alive. The Titanese eat exclusively vegetable matter, often raw though they can cook and like to make things like bread, oatmeal-like gruels, and stews. They do not hunt or kill, as it is strictly against their culture to cause physical harm to another creature except in the extremes of self defense or to save a garden. There are many other species on Titan that can threaten the gardens, mostly avian/flying creatures and insects, but also some fishlike creatures in the underground streams which affect a cress-like staple green they grow. They get along very well with the Ionans whom they invited over, as Ionans are omnivorous in that they eat both vegetable/fungal matter and insects/arthropods as well and eat most of these pests for them. Before the arrival, the Titanese were virtually helpless against these garden pests, having neither the means nor the inclination to drive them away or kill them, and used their skills as builders to make bigger and stronger walls about the gardens from stone.

Culture and FamiliesEdit

Their whole culture is based on gardening and foraging. Holidays fall when various plants are in harvest, and respecting the environment is something they take very seriously. They are extremely intelligent, excellent builders and quick learners, but technologically have not advanced beyond radio transmissions to other planets, as they do not see the need for it. Titanese believe in sacrificially helping others, but along with this are also shrewd bargainers and negotiators. Their bargain with the Ionans, to rescue them and welcome them as refugees under certain conditions, benefited both species. The Ionans receive a safe home and lessons in art and agriculture, and in consequence not only take care of the pest control and fish and insect overpopulation the Titanese themselves are ill equipped to deal with, but also use their prodigious strength and technological know-how to the advantage of the Titanese as well.

Titan is divided into many large 'cities', each in a different cave connected by tunnel 'roads'. Each city has a male leader and a female leader, who may be married but this is not a requirement. The cities usually have a few temples, stations for healing, communication, shopping/repairs, and for ceremonial events, but are mostly just groups of dwelling places and centers for amusement such as parks, auditoriums for the performing arts, and special gardens and playgrounds. After gardening, art, specifically drawing, performing arts, and music, is a large part of the society as well.

Couples are monagamous and mate for life. They have no telepathic powers, but do form strong bonds with mates to the point that the mere presence of each other keeps them alive and strong even with their body is failing, often lengthening their life quite a bit even when old and decrepit. When one spouse dies, it is rare the other survives more than 12 earth months after. Because they can reproduce at an early age, many Titanese marry very young and are married for many decades. Average lifespan is about 80 earth years (3.5 Titan/Saturn years), though many live much longer. Because they live underground in constant 'day' and have no sky to measure time by, the Titanese have no concept of days and weeks or even months, and measure time and age by seasons based on what plants grow when. Therefore, birthdays occur each time the cycle of seasons turns over, which is about 800 Earth days.

Titanese are extremely strict about not having children before marriage, but once married, a couple usually reproduces fairly quickly, as adults need children to help them farm as they get older. They reach full mental and physical maturity quickly, in about 15 earth years, and usually marry at or near that age. The gestation period of a female is equivalent to 14-15 earth months, at the end of which time she will give birth to a litter of anywhere from three to eight babies. Most families do not have more than two or three litters of children, and many only one litter, though a few have been known to have as many as 40 children. The children, because of the long pregnancy, are developed to the point that they do not need to nurse much and can already mix nursing with some softened/mushed plant material, which, given the mother has only four mammary glands, is as well. Children are raised by the parents and by both male and female unmarried nannies, in a community atmosphere. They are encouraged to decide what part they want to play in the society on their own, without adults telling them specifically what they must do when they grow up. The whole local community considers itself one family, though individual families are very close to each other as well. The elderly are cared for and revered highly by the younger members of their family and children are often instructed to spend time with the oldest and most decrepit Titanese to learn from them and also learn about elder care. As far as education, they are taught both by parents and in small schools and tend to be very shy and need lots of encouraging because of feeling a bit 'lost in a crowd' at first, though it's been shown those who have Ionan children as friends show more confidence.

Language Edit

TR

Example of Titanese script, taken from a seed packet. This is presumably planting instructions.

The Titanese people have learned to speak the Ionan language and vice versa to the best of their ability, and many Titanese and Ionans now speak a sort of "Creole" dialect that is a combination of the two. However, Most Ionans can't read Titanese and Titanese can't read Ionan, yet, though efforts are being made on both sides. The original Titanese language is not well understood by anyone except themselves at the moment. The written language is not an alphabet, but is complex and rather hieroglyphic, with well over 2500 symbols that can be further altered by orientation and addition/removal of lines and dots. According to the Ionans, so far as they can decipher, individual symbols represent ideas/definitions, broken up by roots, prefixes, and suffixes. The sounds/phonics of the language are actually very restricted, almost all words containing a Ga- /Gu- sound and then either an aspirated H or an R- sound, somewhere among the other phonics. There are also guttural clicks, clucks, snorts, grunts, and groans that are part of the language as well. The glyphs, it should be noted, are all vaguely abstract versions of agricultural shapes such as leafs, petals, stamens, pistils, roots, branches, and so forth.

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